Bethel Park

• Four Bethel Park High School students earned recognition for their scores on the National Latin Exams, which are sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League.

Sophomore Zack Rectenwald, and freshmen Lily Gaston and Jameson Myers earned Silver Medals and Maxima Cum Laude Certificates on the Level 2 Exam.

Sophomore Declan Brusoski earned a Magna Cum Laude Certificate on the Level 3 Exam.

The students are taught by Bethel Park High School Latin Teacher Ellen Conrad.

• Two Bethel Park High School juniors each received a $2,000 scholarship from Gannon University for their research project and presentation at the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in March at Heinz Field.

Jenna Chernicky and Madelyn Marzina were recognized for their project “The Effects of Moisture on Building Materials.”

They were prepared for this competition by Bethel Park High School Science Teacher Jackie Jeffers.

• Three Bethel Park High School students – senior Morgan Saunders, junior Paige Bostedo and sophomore Alena Kauric – had one of their ceramic artwork pieces selected for inclusion in the Standard Ceramics High School Student Exhibition, which will run from Thursday, April 11 through 25 at Standard Ceramics (One Walnut Street, Carnegie, PA).

The students will be part of an Opening Reception that will be held on Thursday, April 11 from 5 to 7 PM at Standard Ceramics.

The students are taught by Bethel Park High School Art Teacher Rob Hooton.

• The Bethel Park High School Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 94 students into its 2019 Induction Class, including two seniors, 11 juniors and 81 sophomores.

Inducted were seniors Kylie Rimes and Thomas Worcester, as well as juniors Edric Craven, Saje Devine, Alexis Duda, Gabrielle Dunn, Maria Ernst, Liam Fink, Cameron Fondelier, Maliha Khan, Parker Loera, Kaitlyn McClary and Kelsey Rogers.

Sophomores inducted were Ilham Ariouat, Kelsey Aronhalt, Tanush Bahl, Morgan Beardsley, Nicole Beardsley, Abigail Cannon, Juliana Capozzi, Emily Carter, Makayla Carter, Julia Casaldi, Marisol Casanova, Angela Cebula, Lucia Coccagno, Ethan Donovan, Grant Eckert, Emily Engel, Christopher Erfort, Anna Foor, Julia Gasiorowski, Grace Gealey, Kirsten Gross, Emily Guffey, Sally Hathaway, Brianna Hayes, Samantha Heiser, Madelyn Hoffmann and Lily Hunter.

Also inducted were Johnatan Ivanov, Genelle Jenkins, Alexa Karner, Abigail Karstensen, Kelly Katilius, Alena Kauric, Tia Kean, Abby Kearns, Courtney Kiesling, Allison Kurtz, Sierra Kuzak, Megan Malecki, Natalie Manns, Anthony Martinelli, Nicholas Massari, Riley McCann, Christian McClaine, Teagan Mehalko, Reagan Milliken, Cassidy Misak, Grace Myers, Demetrios Patrinos, Abigail Phillips, Sarah Plotz, Aidan Puskas, Rachela Rich and Vincent Riepole.

Additionally, Lianna Robbins, Samuel Robinson, Tobias Roule, Macie Runco, Katelyn Sams, Madison Scheidler, Gianna Sciullo, Lexi Seese, Ashleigh Sepesky, Amber Simeone, Layne Simko, Emily Smith, Megan Smith, Samantha Stephenson, Liam Tena, Rachel Toth, Kerrianne Troesch, Elise Turka, Victoria Vinay, Michael Walsh, Olivia Westphal, Kate Wholey, Megan Winzek, Malik Yasin, Makayla Yee, Evan Zelt and Nina Zonghetti were inducted.

To qualify for induction, students must maintain a minimum 3.85 QPA, devote at least 35 hours per year to community service and display good character and leadership qualities.

Speaking on the Four Pillars of the National Honor Society were senior Jerry Varghese (Character),junior John Gummo (Scholarship), senior Natalie Farmerie (Leadership) and junior Alexis Kiesling (Service).

Delivering the Keynote Address was 1987 Bethel Park High School Graduate and 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee for his work with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Dan Fiorito, who shared personal anecdotes to describe his definition of the Four Pillars.

Bethel Park High School senior Alexa Will is the Chapter’s President and Bethel Park High School Science Teacher Sean O’Brien is the group’s Sponsor.

• Twenty-five Bethel Park High School students were inducted into the National Latin Honor Society, including seven sophomores, 12 juniors and six seniors.

Students who demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and citizenship in Latin Class during the 2018-2019 school year were eligible for induction.

Inducted this year were sophomores Tanush Bahl, Declan Brusoski, Kelly Katilius, Sarah Plotz, Rachela Rich, Kate Wholey and Makayla Yee.

Juniors who were inducted included Alex Brownfield, Andrew Cassano, Hannah Crawford, Sebe DiPrampero, Liam Fink, Grace Gealey, John Gummo, Claudia Huber, Ben Minick, Cassidy Misak, Mark Vighetti and Nicholas Walker.

Also inducted were seniors Eliza Albenze, Natalie Farmerie, Ariana Guerra, Jenna Peretin, Julianne Stein and Julia Wright.

The students are taught by Bethel Park High School Latin Teacher Ellen Conrad.

Upper St. Clair

• Upper St. Clair High School freshman Phoebe Chen has been named the first-place winner of the Central Ohio Flute Association (COFA) Competition, Junior Division. She performed Henri Büsser: Prelude et Scherzo, Op. 35 and Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 1 in A Major on April 6, 2019, at the Ohio State University School of Music.

Phoebe plays flute and piccolo in the Upper St. Clair High School Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, led by Mr. Don Pickell. She currently studies privately with Julie McGough.

A member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Phoebe was selected for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 1 Honors Band and accepted into the 2019 Slippery Rock University Honors Flute Ensemble. She is also a performer at The Consummate Flutist held at Carnegie Mellon University and has performed in masterclasses with Alberto Almarza, Marianne Gedigian and Soo-Kyung Park.

Phoebe was also selected to perform in the National Flute Association’s High School Flute Choir, a national competition for students in grades 9-12. She will perform at the 47th Annual NFA Convention on Aug. 4, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The convention will include 17 competitions and honors Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Susan Milan and Emerson DeFord. For information regarding NFA annual convention, visit

The COFA competition was held in conjunction with the association’s 36th annual festival, which also included a flute choir showcase concert, presentations, flute workshops, an exhibit hall, and a guest artist recital and masterclass with Aaron Goldman, the principal flute of the National Symphony Orchestra.

• Upper St. Clair High School students recently raised $58,476.69 through the third annual USC Mini-THON – exceeding their $50,000 goal. The event benefits Four Diamonds, an organization that assists children who are battling cancer and their families at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey.

The event is a student-led initiative under the leadership of an all-student executive board that includes seniors Peyton Ciesco, Lexi Feldman, Nikki Gibbons, Rachel Harris, Dina Leyzarovich, Nandita Mahesh and Nate Murphy. In total, more than 75 Upper St. Clair High School students were involved in planning the event. Brooke Tarcson, activities coordinator, serves as advisor and faculty liaison.

Mini-THON kicked-off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019. The first few hours were devoted to Community Time, which offered food, games and activities for all ages. Beginning at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saturday, nearly 350 high school students were on their feet in support of families who are battling childhood cancer.

As a vivid reminder of why students were gathered, two local families – the Kutchell and Fera families – shared their personal stories of how childhood cancer has impacted their lives and how efforts such as Mini-THON are needed and appreciated.

The USC Mini-THON executive board set an ambitious goal of raising $50,000 after raising $41,098 last year and $17,531 in its inaugural year, 2017.

According to the Four Diamonds website, “Mini-THONs are interactive events for students of all ages that inspire teamwork, leadership and creativity, while empowering youth and young adults through philanthropy and community service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer. Mini-THONs are modeled after the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) and have been making a difference in the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families since 1993.”

With more than 90,000 student volunteers and 283 schools in eight states, Mini-THONs are making a difference for children and their families. During the 2017-18 school year, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges raised more than $7 million for Four Diamonds.

For more information about the USC Mini-THON, including how you can support this effort, please contact Brooke Tarcson, activities coordinator, at 412-833-1600 ext. 2264 or

• Boyce Middle School welcomed Aisha Saeed, author of “Amal Unbound,” on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, for its annual Author’s Day, sponsored by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.

“Amal Unbound,” selected as a Global Read Aloud 2018 book, has been read aloud to every Boyce sixth grader and the fifth graders are currently half way through the novel. The book tells the fictional story of a 12-year-old Pakistani girl who is forced into indentured servitude and her fight to regain her life and dreams.

“It certainly has been a special experience reading the book, “Amal Unbound,” to all the kids this year,” Ginny Husak, Boyce Middle School librarian, said. “They were definitely more excited about the author visit since they were familiar with the story.”

Ms. Saeed provided two presentations – one for each grade level – in the school’s theater where she shared how she became a writer, where she gets her ideas, why she picks certain ideas, her publishing steps and books by other authors that she’s enjoyed.

A Pakistani-American, Ms. Saeed shared her professional journey that included careers as a second-grade teacher and an attorney before pursuing her passion for writing. Initially, the extremely low odds of a book being selected for publishing dissuaded her from writing – citing the chances of being published at only one percent.

While her career path took a different direction, Ms. Saeed couldn’t shake the desire to write a book. A friend encouraged her to follow her passion for writing. Once her book was ready, her agent sent it to 29 different publishers, all of whom rejected the book. On the 30th and final submission, Ms. Saeed received her book deal.

The inspiration for Amal, the main character of “Amal Unbound,” was Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. While many of Ms. Saeed’s characters and settings are inspired by her Pakistani heritage, the ideas for her books can be derived from anywhere. She listed the following idea sources, “Newspapers, magazines, hiking, daydreaming, dreaming, brainstorming, the ‘what-if’ game, grocery shopping, Target and books.”

Ms. Saeed was also able to show the development of the book cover artwork, designed by Shehzil Malik, from initial sketches through to the final selection.

In addition to “Amal Unbound,” Ms. Saeed authored “Written in the Stars,” a novel for young adults; “Far from Agrabah,” a novel that features Disney’s Aladdin and Jasmine in an all new story; and “Bilal Cooks Daal,” a picture book that uses food as an opportunity to share family traditions.

According to its website, the Global Read Aloud “project was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to make a truly global connection where more than 4,000,000 students have participated.”

• The Upper St. Clair High School Make-A-Wish Club recently presented nearly $5,800 to Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to more than fully fund one wish for a qualifying child.

The students were led by club officers junior Lydia McGlinn; sophomores Marina Bulazo, Caroline Sanford and Emma Skeel; and club sponsor Dawn Mostowy, high school science teacher. The funds were raised through a Holiday Hoops basketball tournament, spirit nights at various local restaurants and at the township’s annual Community Day.

To qualify for a wish through Make-A-Wish, children must be diagnosed with a critical illness, should be between 2 ½ and 18 years old at the time of referral and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.

According to the organization’s website, “When we first meet a wish kid, we ask, ‘If you could go anywhere, have anything, be anything or meet anyone, what would it be?’ When a child answers this question, a wish is born.” The cost of providing for one child’s wish is $4,400 and is based on the cost of the most popular wish – a one-week trip to Walt Disney World.

Members of the USC Make-A-Wish Club will once again be manning a booth at the upcoming Upper St. Clair Community Day on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Attendees can stop by to try their chances at the club’s lollipop tree carnival game. All proceeds will be added to next year’s Make-A-Wish donation.

• The Upper St. Clair Parent Teacher Council will host its semiannual Open Mic at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in the Upper St. Clair High School large group instruction (LGI) room.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John T. Rozzo, accompanied by a team of administrators, will be on hand to discuss district initiatives and to address questions and concerns. In addition to answering submitted questions, Dr. Rozzo and his team will provide brief updates regarding the Safe2Say initiative; the status of the current construction projects; upcoming strategic planning efforts; and the need to partner with families regarding social media usage/issues.

The high school LGI room is a new location for the Open Mic, which has traditionally been held in the Boyce Middle School theater.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to register and submit their questions online (click here for the online registration form). This process, which has been used for the last several years, enables district administrators to more effectively adapt their presentation to meet the needs of the audience.

Attendees should enter Upper St. Clair High School via the main entrance, the exterior doors furthest on the left (marked by the flag pole). Upon entry to the main office, you will need to provide a driver’s license in order to process your visitor’s badge.

The superintendent of schools and at least one school board member participate in the monthly meetings, which are open to all Upper St. Clair families. The meetings provide opportunities for dialogue. For more information about the PTC, contact Suzanne Wynne, PTC president, at

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